*Time magazine released its annual “Time 100” list of the 100 most influential people in the world on Thursday, and among 2011’s chosen are educator Geoffrey Canada, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Oprah Winfrey, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, EPA Chief Lisa Jackson and pop singer Bruno Mars.
Click here for the full list of 100.
Below: the blurbs that accompany each of those listed above in Time magazine.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan writes: Geoffrey Canada is an extraordinary innovator and one of my heroes. He has shown time and again that education is the surest path out of poverty. The Harlem Children’s Zone Project, which he founded, provides a cradle-to-career continuum of high-quality neighborhood schools and support services for disadvantaged children. It’s based on the simple idea that you cannot divorce where kids live from where they learn — and it’s the template for President Obama’s Promise Neighborhoods program.
Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu writes: As the U.S. grapples with serious energy issues, we need serious leaders like Lisa. She understands not only the risks we face but also the opportunities to create a new generation of jobs and to grow the economy while protecting public health and the environment.
Oprah Winfrey writes: Cory Booker is a genius. I could sense it the first day I met him. His enormous intelligence is surpassed only by his heart. He is compassionate, committed, charismatic and generous of spirit. He defines servant leader. Years ago, when he moved into the projects of Newark, N.J., and I asked why that was necessary, he responded, “You can best serve what you know.” And long after he won the job of mayor, he remained in his tiny inner-city flat — not to make a point but to make a difference.
Chef Jamie Oliver writes: Her Let’s Move campaign put obesity in the headlines in part because Americans under 25 are the first generation expected to live shorter lives than their parents because of diet-related illnesses. But Obama, 47, urged people to get up and do something. She convinced her husband to establish America’s first Childhood Obesity Task Force. She planted a teaching garden at the White House and reminded Americans that to know their farmers is to know their food. She enlisted the country’s leading chefs to work with local schools and start cooking; at last count there were more than 1,000 such partnerships.
Media mogul Ted Turner writes: I have always admired independent thinkers, those with the courage, faith and intuition to forge their own ways. In business, these pioneers take calculated risks; care less about bottom lines and more about ideas and innovation; and are intent on bettering the world along the way. Oprah, 57, defines this approach. She has not only made it to the top with the cards stacked against her, but she has also made extraordinary contributions to our global community through her philanthropic efforts.
Bruno Mars: Rapper/Musician B.O.B. writes: Bruno, 25, is part of this new wave of musicians who can do everything: sing, play, write, produce. When he performs live, nothing is prerecorded or fudged. It’s a straight-up, classic performance. That’s so rare these days. We needed only two sessions to record “Nothin’ on You.” But when we perform live is when you really see our chemistry in action. And I can’t even tell you how many times he’s made my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. Bruno is hilarious. You can see it in the hit song “F— You,” which he wrote for Cee Lo Green. That’s him; that’s his sense of humor.
Stanford University professor David M. Kennedy writes: Like FDR before him, Obama, 49, has looked beyond the near horizon. He has paid the political price of setting far-visioned initiatives on health care and financial reform ahead of short-term relief. And he has tried to persuade his countrymen to shed some of their youthful illusions: to forsake the frontiersman’s faith in unbridled individualism for a recognition of the complex interdependencies of modern life, to replace the rebel’s fear of government with the citizen’s trust that government of the people and by the people is for the people too, to stop assuming that Santa Claus will give us cheap energy forever and the Easter Bunny will pay our bills. Whatever the near term holds, history is likely to record that Obama set the country on the path to a future with fewer illusions.
Below: Photographer Martin Schoeller’s Time 100 Journey